Archive for the ‘Bill’ Category

There Are Republicans That Can Challenge Obama With Kristol Clarity

November 16, 2008

It’s 2012 and President Barack Obama is running for re-election. He has had a moderately successful presidency, no big scandals, no big failures and a few triumphs. The big, global success of the Obama administration? A handsome African-American and his handsome family in the White House. What Republican will run against him with any hope of success?

By Arnold Beichman
The Washington Times
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My candidate to oppose Mr. Obama’s second term bid is William Kristol, 56, editor of the Weekly Standard (circulation 84,000). Add to that distinction a Harvard doctorate, if you will. Plus an equally weighty consideration, a record as a Republican Party champion. In other words, an intellectual of the center-right who could stand up to Mr. Obama, a center-left intellectual. If visibility is wanted, Mr. Kristol is a regular commentator on the Fox News Channel and is a New York Times op-ed columnist. In other words, he’s great with the laptop and great on the tube and knows the issues forward and backward.


Mr. Kristol’s quarter-century career in government service is outstanding. It began as chief of staff for then Education Secretary William Bennett in the Reagan administration, then as chief of staff to Vice President Dan Quayle under the first Bush administration. He then moved into idea projects dealing with the GOP’s future, based on what he called a “Contract with America”:

“The fact that government is no longer going to be so generous with taxpayers’ money may be Scrooge-like, but it strikes me as rather responsible behavior. For too many years, some liberals have felt they were doing good by generously spending taxpayers’ money. Now Americans want to take a much harder look at what really does good and what does harm.”

Mr. Kristol is not joined at the hip with President Bush. When the White House nominated Harriet Miers to the U.S. Supreme Court, he spoke up in one of his harshest criticisms of the administration:

“I’m disappointed, depressed and demoralized. … It is very hard to….

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/
2008/nov/16/to-be-kristol-clear/

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Clintons Move to Tamp Down Criticism From Blacks

January 12, 2008
January 12, 2008
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WASHINGTON — The Clinton campaign moved Friday to try to quell a potentially damaging reaction to recent comments by Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton that have drawn criticism from African-Americans just as the presidential primary campaign reached Southern states with significant numbers of black voters.In a call on Friday to Al Sharpton’s nationally syndicated talk radio show, Mr. Clinton said that his “fairy tale” comment on Monday about Senator Barack Obama’s position on the Iraq war was being misconstrued, and that he was talking only about the war, not about Mr. Obama’s overarching message or his drive to be the first black president.

Al Sharpton, captured by Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

“There’s nothing fairy tale about his campaign,” Mr. Clinton said. “It’s real, strong, and he might win.”

Mr. Clinton’s fairy tale line and a comment by Mrs. Clinton that some interpreted as giving President Lyndon B. Johnson more credit than the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for civil rights laws have disturbed African-Americans….

Read the rest:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/12/us/politics/12clinton.html?_r=1&adxnnl=1&oref=slogin&adxnnlx=1200160994-jLA3Qhs0vs1tAjImKwLT/Q

Related:
Sharpton, Jackson dilemma

Bill Clinton by
Perry Baker, AP
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Clintons In Hot Water With Blacks

By WAYNE WASHINGTON – wwashington@thestate.com

Sharp criticism of Barack Obama and other comments about Martin Luther King Jr. — all from people associated with Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign — have generated resentment among some black S.C. voters.

The furor comes just two weeks before those voters will have a significant say in who wins the Jan. 26 primary here.

The Clinton-Obama battle has the potential to become a wrenching divide for black voters. Historically those voters have been strong backers of Bill and Hillary Clinton. But many black voters now are drawn to the prospect of a black man winning the presidency.

Those on both sides say watching the battle unfold in the Palmetto State, where black voters could cast half of the votes in the Democratic primary, won’t be pretty.

“To some of us, it is painful,” said state Sen. Darrell Jackson, a Clinton supporter.

U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., had pledged to remain neutral as Democrats competed for votes in the state’s primary.

But the state’s only African-American congressman was quoted in The New York Times Friday saying he is reconsidering that stance in light of comments from Clinton.

She raised eyebrows in New Hampshire when she credited President Lyndon Baines Johnson, not the assassinated John F. Kennedy or King, for passing civil rights legislation.

“It is one thing to run a campaign and be respectful of everyone’s motives and actions, and it is something else to denigrate those,” Clyburn told the Times. “That bothered me a great deal.”

Efforts to reach Clyburn, leading a congressional delegation examining Asian port security, were not successful Friday.

Clyburn’s office issued a statement Friday night that lacked the fire of his Times interview.

“I encourage the candidates to be sensitive about the words they use,” Clyburn said in the statement. “This is an historic race for America to have such strong, diverse candidates vying for the Democratic nomination.”

Clinton expanded on her comments during a Jan. 8 interview on NBC’s “Today” show.

“Sen. Obama used President John F. Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to criticize me,” she said. “Basically compared himself to two of our greatest heroes. He basically said that President Kennedy and Dr. King had made great speeches and that speeches were important. Well, no one denies that. But if all there is (is) a speech, then it doesn’t change anything.”

GROWING SPLIT

A generational divide has opened among black S.C. political leaders that matches a key difference between Clinton and Obama.

Older, more experienced black elected officials, including Jackson and state Sen. Robert Ford, D-Charleston, back Clinton. Younger politicians — including Steve Benjamin and Rick Wade, who both made high-profile runs for statewide office, and state Reps. Bakari Sellers and Todd Rutherford — support Obama.

Rutherford bristles at the notion, offered up by some of Clinton’s supporters, that it is foolish to back a relatively young black man for an office that no black ever has held.

“If they are going to call themselves black leaders, and people are running by them to vote for Obama and they are standing there and pointing in the other direction, then maybe they need to be replaced,” Rutherford said.

Obama has gotten under the skin of the Clintons by painting Hillary Clinton as a calculating politician whose election would take the country back to the bitterly partisan years of the 1990s.

The Clinton team mostly ignored Obama’s digs in the early months of the campaign. But, as Obama moved closer to what became a resounding victory in the Iowa caucuses, Clinton and her supporters began to attack Obama.

A prominent Clinton supporter in New Hampshire said Democrats should think twice about nominating Obama because Republicans would revive his past drug use in this fall’s general election campaign.

Clinton quickly disassociated herself from the comments. But they were widely seen as a clumsy attempt by her campaign to remind voters about Obama’s previous drug use.

After Obama won in Iowa and Hillary Clinton’s path to the nomination seemed threatened, Bill Clinton came to his wife’s defense. He argued Obama’s rise had come without an appropriate level of scrutiny from members of the news media.

“This thing is the biggest fairy tale I’ve ever seen,” the former president said.

Bill Clinton kept up the criticism, telling New Hampshire voters not to make the same decision Iowans had in supporting Obama.

“The voters there said, ‘We want something different. We want something that looks good and sounds good. We don’t care about achievement.’”

Obama supporters were outraged by the criticism.

“We expect a lot of Barack Obama,” Benjamin said. “We expect as much from Hillary Clinton. And we probably expect more from Bill Clinton.”

Jackson said it is fair to draw sharp comparisons between Clinton, who was first lady for eight years before becoming a U.S. senator, and Obama, who served in the Illinois state legislature before winning his Senate seat.

He said the Clintons, particularly the former president, have earned the right to be critical of Obama without having to worry about being seen as racists.

“We’re not talking about David Duke saying these things,” Jackson said. “Here’s a guy who was affectionately called the first black president.”

Despite broad popularity among blacks, the Clintons are employing a risky strategy in sharply criticizing Obama, said Marcus Cox, director of the African-American Studies Department at The Citadel.

African-Americans liked what they knew of Obama in the early months of the campaign, Cox said. But they wondered if white voters would support him. Now, after Iowa, some of those doubts are gone, and many black voters have come to see Obama as their best chance to have one of their own capture the White House.

Anyone who tries to get in the way of that, particularly anyone who is not black, will spark some anger, Cox said.

“The racial dynamic is always going to be there,” Cox said. “If you have a white female candidate attacking a black candidate, it might look racial. I think that would hurt (Hillary Clinton).”

Sellers, the 23-year-old legislator who won his seat in the General Assembly by defeating one of its oldest members, said he is angry about Hillary Clinton’s remarks regarding King’s contribution to civil rights legislation.

“I think those comments were insensitive,” Sellers said. “I think they showed a lack of concern about the struggles of African-Americans. I thought those comments were inappropriate.

“But,” Sellers added, “I still love Bill.”

Clinton Camp “A Bit Unwound”

January 8, 2008

By Kate Phillips
The New York Times
January 8, 2008
2127 GMT

MANCHESTER, N.H. — On the eve of the primary, the Clinton campaign on several fronts seemed to well over with emotion, making us wonder as we reviewed those video moments whether the sentiments – ranging from anger to near despair to exhaustion – would be in evidence as returns came in Tuesday night.
Begala

CNN’s Paul Begala. The rumor
Machine says he will join “Team
Hillary” as early as Wednesday.

It’s been a tough few weeks for the Clinton campaign, as the realization sunk in that her lead had slipped away around here. It feels like the tightly spun machine has come a bit unwound.

….In response to a question about the Clinton camp’s pollster Mark Penn wrongly insisting initially that Mr. Obama had gotten no “bounce’’ out of Iowa, Mr. Clinton began by acknowledging that Mr. Penn had been wrong. Then he fired away, in a mocking tone:

“But since you raised the judgment issue let’s go over this again. That is the central argument for his campaign. It doesn’t matter that ‘I’ started running for president less than a year after ‘I’ got to the senate after the Illinois senate. ‘I’ am a great speaker and a charismatic figure and ‘I’ am the only one who had the judgment to oppose this war from the beginning – always always always.”

Read the rest:
http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/01/08/the-clinton-camp-unbound/

Related:
Hillary, Desperate, Tries to Avoid Becoming Toast

Bill Clinton Stumps for Hillary; No Mention of “Character”

January 2, 2008

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
January 2, 2008

Former President of the United States Bill Clinton now says the gloves are off. He is 1000% behind his wife Hillary, the Democratic Presidential Hopeful.

Yet in November 2007, at one speechifying event, the former president made only seven references to his wife and used the word ‘I’ 94 times.

Note to Hillary: It is all about Him.

Also note that the media’s nickname for Bill and Hillary is “Billery.” Not “HillaBill.”

Democratic presidential candidate Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY)(L) is joined by her daughter Chelsea (C) and her husband former President Bill Clinton at a campaign stop in Des Moines, Iowa, December 31, 2007.

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So I listened with great interest to Former President of the United States Bill Clinton’s speech on New Year’s Eve.

Bill’s speech highlights Hillary’s greatest failure during the Big Guy’s presidency: health care. According to The Guardian newspaper in the UK: “Failure is not usually an attribute used to sell American presidents but that is how Bill Clinton is pitching his wife to Iowa voters in the final days before the state caucuses. Hillary Clinton has a crucial quality for an occupant of the White House, the former president argues: the strength to carry on after getting it wrong.”

Well, isn’t that special.

The former president’s speech about his wife is an hour-long lesson on the challenges of the White House and his wife’s accomplishments.

What the former president does, mostly, is to emphasize his own greatness as president even as he tears down the current occupant of the Oval Office, who is, by the way, at war. Hillary, it seems to some observers, is just the tool to draw a crowd.

We also noticed the many things Big Bill doesn’t say. There is absolutely no mention whatsoever of the words “character,” “ethics,” “morality,” or “standards.” While the Republicans insist that “character counts,” you can’t count Bill Clinton saying the word once.

And what is “character”?  Dictionaries define the word as “the pattern of behavior or personality found in an individual or group; moral constitution.”

Interesting. But no surprise that in a Clinton speech this kind of word is avoided.

Related:
Race for the White House: Enter Bill Clinton

Culture: Romney Takes Swipe at Clintons

Clintons push a Hillary/Obama ticket

Bill Clinton profits from company tied to felon, China